New York is home now for Paul Vecchione, but first he had to jump from a life of suits and security to one where nothing is guaranteed.

“Right out of college I was a program analyst for the federal government in Washington, D.C. I thought that’s what I wanted to do,” says Vecchione, who majored in business economics and Spanish at Wofford. “The whole time, though, I was filming stuff on the side — almost every weekend, even using sick days to film.”

His brother, Zach, started Starr Media, a full-service production company in New York, and when the business was big enough to support both of them, Vecchione made the jump as well.

“The first year was rough,” says Vecchione. “I basically lived on Amtrak trains going from shoot to shoot.” Now the company supports seven full-time employees and has relationships with the best contract talent in the industry. “It’s been a grind, but we’re always learning. Always building clients. Always working.”

After 12 years in the business, the brothers have an office in New York with an enviable view overlooking Times Square as well as offices in Seattle and Copenhagen.

“We work 24 hours a day so clients and projects get passed across time zones. Tommy’s in the headquarters in Amsterdam. When I get up, my brother is finishing his day. At 6 p.m., I pass things off to Jason in Seattle, so someone is taking care of business for our clients around the clock,” says Vecchione. “The clients like the attention. It’s a saturated market, and anyone feels like they can get a camera and shoot video. We knew we needed to get a leg up on the competition. We knew if we weren’t editing through the night, someone else would. I consider us a customer service company that happens to make films.”

It’s working. Starr Media does commercials, documentaries and videos for clients such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Disney, Universal Sports, Red Bull, Gatorade, Adidas and World Marathon Majors, among others.

Vecchione, who has lived in California, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, D.C. and South Carolina, says New York is where he’s always wanted to be.

“I feed off the energy. There’s constantly something to do. It really is the epicenter of the world. All of our clients have offices here even if they’re not based here,” says Vecchione.

Wofford Theatre audiences may remember Vecchione as the lawn chair man from “Flight of the Lawn Chair Man” or Rocky from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He also performed with Wofford’s Chamber Music Players and played soccer and ran cross country for the Terriers.

“I’m ADD, so I need that,” says Vecchione. “The challenge helps me stay engaged.”

It worked at Wofford, and it’s certainly working with Starr Media in New York.

By Jo Ann Mitchell Brasington ’89